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Ultra-quiet submarines continue to pose a threat to national interests, while the use of small, fast-attack craft and jet skis by pirates and traffickers is a growing and increasingly serious concern in maritime areas.


As the focus of naval and maritime affairs has shifted from blue-water operations to coastal and littoral zones, there is a need for improved maritime surveillance capabilities to identify and track intelligent, rapid, highly manoeuvrable and often fleeting targets in all sea states, poor visibility conditions, day and night, and all navigational areas.

Nations are responding to these evolving threats by monitoring their land and maritime borders more closely. They need to be able to detect, identify and track mobile threats on land and at sea.

Searching for boats or vehicles in large areas or along extensive borders, for example, calls for airborne surveillance systems with increasingly high levels of performance and the ability to detect the smallest objects at long range.

As force structures evolve and budgets shrink, operators need to perform multiple missions with the same aircraft, creating a new operational requirement for a solution combining maritime surveillance and ground surveillance capabilities, based on a high-performance multirole radar compatible with a broad range of aircraft types.


Thales airborne surveillance solutions

The AMASCOS® integrated mission system is built around a tactical command subsystem and a suite of latest-generation sensors to meet the requirements of maritime surveillance and maritime patrol missions.

Thales has constantly developed AMASCOS® since it was first introduced, and this solution now offers a multimission capability for maritime and land surveillance.

AMASCOS® is an effective solution for a broad range of mission types:

  • Maritime surveillance:
    • EEZ and traffic surveillance
    • Countering drug smuggling, illegal immigration, terrorism and piracy
    • Fisheries monitoring
    • Environmental monitoring
    • Search and rescue (SAR)
  • Maritime patrol:
    • Anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare
    • Electronic intelligence
    • Joint operations in the littoral environment
  • Ground surveillance:
    • Border surveillance
    • Tracking of highly mobile ground-based threats


Multirole radar for a diverse threat environment

At Euronaval 2014, Thales is launching its new Searchmaster® multirole surveillance radar with active electronic scanning antenna (AESA) technology.

Searchmaster® is a truly multirole surveillance radar with the ability to meet all the surveillance requirements of five mission types: anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, maritime surveillance, ground surveillance and tactical air support.

This high-performance radar is designed for airborne surface, ground and air surveillance missions. Its outstanding performance includes the ability to track up to 1,000 targets at the same time.

Thanks to its compact, lightweight design (approximately 75 kg), the radar is easy to install and integrate with a system. It is suitable for MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) UAVs, medium-tonnage and heavy-lift mission helicopters and mission aircraft (turboprop or jet-engined), contributing to their multimission capabilities.


Technologies derived from the Rafale radar

The Searchmaster® radar benefits from Thales's technological leadership in active electronic scanning antennas and the know-how acquired in this area on the Rafale combat aircraft programme.

Searchmaster® features an AESA 1D active electronic scanning antenna. The key benefits of this new product are extended range, 360° coverage, electronic scanning in the vertical plane for simultaneous short-range and long-range surveillance, and continuous detection in harsh environmental conditions.

Searchmaster® offers significantly increased operational performance for a wide range of platform types.